slice of watermelon

December 1, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: China | Tags: , ,

I hate airports. Have you ever noticed how extremely dull and uneventful the waiting areas are? There are two predominant (if not, only) categories of waiting areas: (a) the silent ones; or (b) the noisy ones.

In category (a), you always feel like you are the centre of attention. There’s always the prickly feeling on the back of your neck that the guy sitting behind you is only pretending to read Dickens. If you have the misfortune to sit on a seat that squeaks, then you will be the centre of attention. The aftermath usually involves you peeking guiltily around the room hoping everyone in the area was at least substantially deaf.

In category (b), the spotlight falls upon a large group of people who are too engrossed in their own conversation(s) to notice the rest of the world. This said group can encompass all sexes, ages and ethnic backgrounds.

In my case, my waiting room began as a category (a) but soon evolved into a category (b) upon the arrival of a group of FOBs. (That’s Fresh Off the Boat, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term.) Not just, oh-look-I-wear-mini-skirts-and-prance-around-in-my-Hello-Kitty-jacket, but middle aged men who felt compelled to tuck their extremely fugly polos into their pants. Not to mention the middle-aged wives who think they are really only fifteen, and therefore hip to tie their jackets around their waist (yes multiple jackets). The twenty year-old who has potential is also wearing school shoes, a coat that’s too big for her, and let’s not start on that woolly jumper inside. There was about twelve of them in total. Admittedly a group of twelve is not that bad, unless these FOBs think the person right next to them is actually deaf. I glared at them for the full one and a half hours the plane was late for.

The flight from Melbourne to Sydney was supposed to be uneventful. It was only an hour flight. Except I thought motion sickness pills would be overrated for a one hour flight. I guess I was wrong. We got ceremoniously kicked off the plane at Sydney and transit took nearly 3 hours. I was over airplanes and flights and I was fully ready to be in Shanghai by then.

The plane did eventually arrive at Pudong International Airport. My customs check was delayed because foreigners had to fill out a stupid form that involved copying of a long address in Chinese. My reunion with grandparents was also delayed because apparently both parties need their eyes checked. I got to my grandparents’ place at 11pm. I was ready to keel over and sleep on the front door mat.

Side Note A: There were multiple calls for an Emirates flight to Dubai while I was in Tullamarine.

Side Note B: A guy was doing a survey in the waiting room and looked utterly disappointed when I told him I was not a Chinese citizen.



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